Since childhood times, we were told women tend to live longer than men. While no as such explanation was put forward but scientists felt that the better physical and mental health of females elongates their lifespan. Let focus on the latter health for the time being and state why the hypothesis may be false. Now according to a recent study, there are more women affected by Alzheimer’s than men.
In a wider scheme of things that means, Alzheimer’s deteriorate the mental wellbeing of a woman. Since it results in eventual memory loss and disrupted cognition, it is believed to be a big pre-set to dementia. In fact, statistics would reveal that 3/5 cases of Dementia are accounted for by Alzheimer’s disease.
That said, let us first look briefly why the number of women affected by Alzheimer’s is greater than men. We will then subsequently look into factors which increase the risk of the condition.
Why are more women affected by Alzheimer’s than men?
According to the American Speech & Language Hearing Association, there are as many as 5.8 million individuals in the USA diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The rate of infliction has observed a steady increase over the years. At this pace, by the year 2050, we will have approximately 14 million people with the disease.
Out of the total projected figure, more than 70% of the cases will occur in people aged above 65. On a further look at the demographics, women affected by Alzheimer’s is far more likely than infliction in men.
Compared to the USA, UK women currently account for 58.9% of the total Alzheimer’s cases. (500,000 vs 350,000).
Scientists were subsequently in the incumbent process of evaluating the reasons for the stated phenomena. They came up with two possible explanations for why there are more women affected by Alzheimer’s than men.
Clumps of Tau Protein
Our brain is a complex organ with several functions happening at the same time. There is an abundance of protein molecules which assist in the sustenance of these functions. One such molecule found in the brain is called tau usually attached to the microtubules.
Researchers found what happens when there is a disturbance in the attachment. When tau gets detached from the microtubules, they start forming clumps in different regions. As an immediate consequence, the brain cells start to die.
Because women tend to have higher connectivity in the brain, the clumps are easier to form. This ultimately causes symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease to develop.
Future medical studies will highlight why women have higher brain connectivity than men.
The role of genes
Research findings coming from the University of Miami put forward an explanation for the differences accounted. According to scientists, genetics may have a role to play in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. There is something about the genetic makeup of the women they make them vulnerable to the condition.
While no further explanation has so far been documented, it is believed that differences in genes may explain different levels of risk factors., we should wait for further studies to come up with a more comprehensive response.